The recent elections in Albany County (NY) and in Greene County (NY), particularly in the Town of Coeymans (Albany County, NY), and the towns of New Baltimore (Greene County, NY), for example, have exhibited a troubling pattern forming in what was once a multi-party, participative democracy, free and courageous nation: Amid finger-pointing, immorality, self-service, and failures in our public servants, the main political parties, the Democratic and the Republican parties, have become irrelevant, frequently unable to muster up candidates to provide voters with a choice. Moreover, the third parties have become ballot brokers, political prostitutes, selling their support for future favors, and backing some of the worst scoundrels the polls have ever been sullied with.
The 2019 Local Elections:
Examples of the “Sick Community Syndrome”©
This analysis and commentary is based on the model of domestic violence and abuse, and shows how domestic violence and abuse plays out on a community scale in the framework of what I call the “sick community syndrome.” [anonymous]
The Sick Community Syndrome.
The sick-community syndrome is alive and well. It has become a permanent resident, it appears, in our communities, in the shady and corrupt characters running for office, misinforming the public and defaming incumbents, opposing candidates, or anyone, who had clear who availed themselves of their guaranteed constitutional rights of free expression and freedom of assembly. Ignoring clear and conspicuous exemplary performance and records of accomplishment, the shadow figures intimidated residents and brainwashed the willing; this would have sent up red flags to most observers but not in a sick community. What’s worse, and with the Town of Coeymans as our poster-child, the fact that the least qualified candidates — and the most corrupt candidates — were elected to replace incumbents with records of accomplishment. This situation raised many questions and led us to coin the phrase “sick community syndrome” to describe the municipalities which, like the Town of Coeymans and towns like it dotting Albany and Greene Counties in New York, have a history of such self-destructive, self-abusive behaviors, marked by widespread abuse and psychological violence perpetrated on an apathetic and depressed — morally and economically — community of what can be called most accurately: sheeple.
The Town of Coeymans as the Poster-Child for “Sick Community Syndrome”
The 2019 midterm election campaign scene in the Town of Coeymans, for example, included:
Two incumbents: 2-term Town Supervisor, Phillip Crandall (Dem), multiple-term Town Councilman, Tom Dolan (Dem), and a young man new to the political scene but not to town government, Michael McGuire (Dem), who is the Town of New Scotland Assessor.
Coeymans Opted to Oust Incumbents with Proven Track Records of Fiscal Responsibility, Economic Growth, and Vast Improvements in Infrastructure and Environmental Concerns. Why?
The Smalbany blog (nonpartisan) reported extensively on the candidates and the campaigning but in synopsis:
- George D. McHugh, an attorney closely associated with local big business interests, a long history of ethics violations, a pattern of misinformation, disinformation, malinformation, and outright lies. A womanizer, married 4 times so far. McHugh was a one-term Coeymans Town Supervisor in 2000-2001, but did not run for a second term. His reasons for not having run for a second term change with the weather. He’s a skilled liar.
- McHugh’s running mates included the son of a local family business (fuel oil and other products), Zacchary Collins (30), and a local man Brendan Lefevre (34), both with no life or political experience or any experience to speak of at all., In fact, Lefevre didn’t live in the Coeymans area until recently, and then returned only to take up residence in his father’s basement. Neither Collins nor Lefevre own any property in the Town of Coeymans but will be calling the shots for residents who do own property and pay property taxes.
- Upon reliable information, George D. McHugh never attended a Coeymans Town Board meeting save for one appearance at which he made a presentation on behalf of one of his business interests. Collins and Lefevre may have been seen at one Coeymans Town Board meeting shortly before the elections, but that is an unconfirmed report. They couldn’t be bothered to attend town board meetings but now are going to be running things as the Coeymans Town Council.
- The McHugh campaign was extraordinarily expensive in terms of money spent in a local political campaign. Initial estimates indicate that the campaign spent in excess of $20,000. Final campaign finance reports are still pending, and we will obtain them and verify the exact amount spent. Will McHugh disclose every source of campaign money he and his group received? Support includes promises of future benefits to be received from LaFarge-Holcim, Carver Companies, Port of Coeymans, Coeymans Industrial Park, organized business groups in the town, and private interests. It’s all about money!
- George McHugh is former owner of the local newspaper, the Ravena News Herald, and close friends with the current owner/publisher, Mark Vinciguerra. While the Ravena News Herald tried but failed to make a convincing appearance of fair and balanced campaign reporting, and the News Herald was monumentally unsuccessful in masking their flagrantly biased support of the McHugh group.
- The far more disturbing aspect of the McHugh campaign was the clear close involvement of a group calling itself, Friends of Coeymans, which was in fact a trio of local thugs, Jeffrey “Jeff” LaQuire, Nathan “Nate” Boomer, and Christopher “Chris” Hagen. The so-called Friends of Coeymans made it a point of appearing at most public meetings of the Town of Coeymans boards, harassing the board members, intimidating pubic attendees, staging pubic comment together with collaborators, and generally making any meeting into a three-ring-circus affair. The bullying and thuggery reached such a point that the Town Board found it necessary to have police presence at meeting to ensure order. According to their Facebook page, they assure followers that their work has just begun! What does that mean to Coeymans residents? To residents who want to participate in local government? Who want to exercise their guaranteed rights? We’ve already seen the neonazi tactics used by the Friends of Coeymans and now we read that their work has just begun!
- The LaQuire-Boomer-Hagen trio did not limit their activity to public comment but frequently followed public attendees around videoing and recording their conversations, photographing attendees, and making comments about or to attendees during meetings. The trio not only have become despised and ridiculous public figures, they also host an abusive Facebook page that provided commentary, disinformation, personal attacks, and other obnoxious publications. It was purest neonazism in action and it was, regrettably effective.
- The McHugh group received Republican (R), Conservative (C), and Independence (I) party lines on the ballot. Those endorsements will become something those parties will learn to regret. Lie down with dogs and wake up with fleas!
- The majority of Coeymans voters opted to choose the greed and narcissism of a small group of corrupt clowns and to abandon their children’s and grandchildren’s best interests! The majority of Coeymans voters chose shame and guilt over and above responsibility to their community and to their children. Why?
A Majority of Voters — Not Necessarily the People of Coeymans — Elected Three Men of Questionable Character to Replace Incumbents with Proven Positive Performance. Why?
It’s difficult for a reasonably thinking mind to grasp Why? given the facts and the available options, the majority of Coeymans residents who bothered to go to the polls, actually voted for one of the most scandalous groups in modern Coeymans history!
On November 5, 2019, voters went to the polls, to elect Coeymans Town Supervisor, two Coeymans Town Councilmen, and one County Legislator. When the polls closed it was announced that the McHugh group had succeeded in receiving the majority of votes. The Coeymans Town Board was now 100% Republican, packed with McHugh and big-business puppets, and two incumbent Republicans, Daniel Baker and Kenneth Burns had already been exposed as moles on the Town Council, and both Baker and Burns proved their dubious characters according to past activities on and off the board.
The Smalbany blog reported extensively on the campaigning, including an extensive interview of Mr. Phillip Crandall, former Town Supervisor, and published in both excerpts and in full transcript. George McHugh refused to be interviewed and refused to debate Mr. Crandall on at least 3 occasions.Voters seemed to ignore McHugh’s cowardice.
This 2019 local campaign behavior was on the one hand, characterized by considerable publication of the challengers’ background and conduct, principally that of George McHugh, who had a past rich in questionable conduct and more recently, bare-faced lies that were easily exposed. His running mates were as unimpressive as McHugh was impressive (negatively). In contrast, the incumbents. Phil Crandall and Tom Dolan, and candidate Michael McGuire, were experienced, civil, productive, and forthcoming. Mr. Crandall, for example, was able to run down a long laundry list of accomplishments and programs, including remarkable fiscal recovery during his two terms.
So why does a whole community, that is, those who actually go to the polls, ignore the available factual information in favor of being fed disinformation and malinformation, to elect clearly morally, ethically, and clearly substandard and undesirable candidates like McHugh, Collins and Lefevre, while abandoning incumbents, like Crandall and Dolan, and a professional administrator like McGuire, who provided proof of their the high-quality performance and productivity. We are not pointing out pie in the sky accomplishments but accomplishments, which were clearly obvious day-to-day to anyone on the street, anyone enjoying clean air, soil, water, parks, and new sidewalks and newly paved streets!
This Behavior of Residents Raises Many Troubling Questions
Such community behavior raises many troubling questions about how the so-called voting public process facts, the value they place on truth and integrity, and why they would abandon incumbents with undeniably excellent performance records only to elect a man of highly questionable ethics, George McHugh, whose campaign was based largely on contradictions, lies, and the neonazi tactics of the Friends of Coeymans — Jeff LaQuire, Nate Boomer, and Chris Hagen —, and two inexperienced young puppets — Zachary Collins and Brendan Lefevre —, who would function conspicuously as McHugh’s tools on the Coeymans Town Board.
These are some of the questions we hope to clarify, if not help to answer, including:
- Why do people stay in sick communities while denying that they are being abused?
- Why do residents in sick communities refuse to confront the reality of the abuse and avoid changing?
- Why do residents in sick communities deny facts and truth about abuse, and call the messenger a liar?
- When offered a choice, why do residents in a sick community choose bad judgement over common sense?
- Do voters elect bad candidates out of shame and guilt, and is that behavior a way of punishing themselves?
- In other words, How do the abused, the victims then become self-abusers?
The abuse becomes the norm; anything else is not normal for them. Common sense would seem to indicate that a community should be able to choose how they want to live and, since it is a viable option, for the victims to do what they can to escape their abusers. But they don’t choose to escape their abusers! Instead, they hand them the keys to the community, and the vicious cycle of abuse continues and worsens.
Editor’s Note: If anyone already has the answers to these questions, please share them with us. You’ll save us a lot of research and writing time, and we can move on to other equally scary topics. But if you don’t have the answers, read the continuing installments of this series, Coeymans: Poster-Child of the “Sick Community Syndrome.”
Part II of this series is due to be published on
Saturday, November 16, 2019.